Monday, February 14, 2011

Keeping up with the bacon fad -- Bacon Jam

I've been an inveterate reader all of my life.  I can gobble down a dozen or more books on a trip, although the  books I take while traveling tend to be easy-to-digest mysteries or novels.  The first time I was unable to read at all was during my husband's illness when I was simply too distracted to concentrate.  The first book I read after his death was Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections," which hooked me in the first paragraph.  I'm forever grateful to Franzen for steering me back to reading. I'm a HUGE fan of "Freedom," too.

But the distraction I encountered 10 years ago occasionally afflicts me even now, so there are times when I just don't have the concentration to read.  It's at such times that I devour cookbooks and cooking blogs, salivating over recipes that look delicious, and undoubtedly are, but that I probably will never make.  I feverishly copy them to my electronic files, where most of them will rot in time.  But some of the recipes look too wonderful to pass up.  Sometimes they're a colossal failure.  More often, though, they're delicious. 

One such recipe came along a few weeks ago, intriguing me with its label "Bacon Jam."  I've been a bacon fan since I was 18 (that's when I first lived away from a kosher home and was able to check out bacon for myself).  And "jam" as a concept, when aligned with bacon, was too intriguing to resist.  So I wrote the grocery list, headed to Guido's, came home and made the bacon jam.  It couldn't be easier, nor could it be more delicious. 

I've used it as a topping for cheese and crackers (Brie, chevre, cheddar), as part of a grilled cheese sandwich, and mixed in with scrambled eggs.  I gave my friend Amy a container of it, and she reported that  used as a condiment in a stir fry of spinach and other winter greens it was fabu.  Said it put the dish over the top.  I'm sure you can figure out many more ways to make this part of your repertoire. 

So I'm offering this sensational recipe as my Valentine's Day gift to loyal readers. 

Bacon Jam
1-½ lb sliced center cut hickory-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 c cider vinegar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c maple syrup
3/4 c strong brewed coffee
Line a sheet pan with paper towels.  Fry bacon in large Dutch oven over med-high heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is brown, about 20 minutes.  Remove bacon with slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.
Pour off all but 1 T bacon fat.  Add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, 5-6 minutes.  Add vinegar, sugar, maple syrup, and coffee, bring to a boil, scraping up bacon bits from bottom of pan.  After 2 minutes, add baon and stir to combine.

Reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is burning.  If jam seems to be cooking too fast, add 1/4 c water every now and then.  When the liquid is syrupy, remove pot from heat.  let it sit for 5 minutes, then transfer contents to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Let jam cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container.  It can last for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.


  1. This looks too good! I can imagine eating it on cornbread. (FYI, I'm a visitor by way of Emma).

  2. Bacon Coffee sugar wow, Going to have to try this, Thanks Laury!!

  3. I am obsessed with making this. Do you think there is enough sugar and acid in there so that I could can it (not pressure can)? I don't want to have to eat all of it at once, but then maybe that is not a realistic concern. Might be nice to have on hand when bacon loving friends visit.

  4. The original recipe stated it would keep for 5-6 weeks. It's terrifi when added to scrambled eggs, sauteed greens (e.g., kale, chard, etc), stuff like that. It would be great as an addition to chili or other cooked ground meat. So I don't think having it around for 5-6 weeks is a problem. If it is, give me a call and I'll come over to eat some with you.